Top award for ERC rising star Cais from FIA President Jean Todt
Erik Cais’s achievements in the FIA European Rally Championship have been recognised through a top award presented by FIA President Jean Todt recently.
Cais, 20, is the FIA Central European Zone’s Talent of the Year, an award that takes into account the performances of young drivers from CEZ member states competing in various disciplines such as rallying, circuit racing and karting.
The former downhill mountain bike racer, who switched to rallying just one year ago, was chosen ahead of Italian Formula 4 racer Andrea Rosso and Serbian karter Filip Jenič, after he finished runner-up in ERC3 and fourth in ERC3 Junior driving a Ford Fiesta R2T for Orsák Rallysport. He received his award from President Todt at the recent FIA CEZ Gala in Tirana, Albania.
Cais said: “Being chosen as the greatest talent in the FIA Central European Zone is great for me. I consider it as a reward for trust. Jarek Orsák and his team believed in me and they gave me the opportunity to do what I really like. I was able to race in the ERC thanks to the Autoclub of the Czech Republic, who supported us financially and to whom I thank very much. My thanks also go to my co-driver Jindřiška Žáková and my sponsors, YACCO, VP Racing Fuels, GPD, P1, SMR PLUS, and to all my fans who I appreciate a lot. Last but not least, I thank my girlfriend and family for their tremendous support. I wouldn’t be standing here without them.”
Orsák said: “I was really deeply moved when President Todt handed over this award to Erik. After all, two years ago Erik was holding the handlebars of his downhill race bike until he suffered a serious injury. Now he is the FIA CEZ Talent of the Year. During these two seasons, we followed Erik’s incredibly fast progression, we went through a lot of worries, but especially a lot of joy at individual rallies. This award belongs to the whole team, who put their trust in our project with Erik and worked really hard.”
Tomáš Kunc, the General Secretary of Automotive and Motorcycle Sport of the Autoclub of the Czech Republic, was also in attendance at the gala in Albania. “I am very glad that Erik was elected the Talent of the Year 2019 across all federations within the Central European Zone. It shows what a great international result he has achieved this year. I’m watching his growth and the goals he is conquering. I thank Erik, his co-driver, Jindřiška Žáková, and the whole team from Orsák Rallysport for this year’s cooperation and their representation of the Autoclub of the Czech Republic. We will work together again next season and I believe that we will achieve all the common goals and fight for the top spots again.”
Operation ERC 2020 in Rally2 car is underway
Erik Cais is set for a step up to Rally2 level in the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship, with Jarek Orsák ready to continue his alliance with his younger compatriot. “Together with Erik we are currently working with ACCR and sponsors to find the budget for next season so Erik can start again in the ERC, this time, however, with a more powerful [Rally2] specification car,” said Orsák. “I believe that we all will be able to fill the budget together so that Erik’s career can continue and develop.” Cais has form in Rally2 machinery, having finished runner-up on the Vančík Rallysprint Kopná in April, before claiming a strong P11 overall on Rallye du Var last month.